CSNA Have Called On The Central Bank To Probe Why Shoppers Hit By Payment Outage

CSNA have called on the Central Bank to investigate after a payment system outage caused major disruption for customers and shop staff.

An eight-hour outage at card payments company Opayo caused “extensive” problems in supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol forecourts.

Chief executive of the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association (CSNA) Vincent Jennings called on the Central Bank to seek a report into the outage.

The problem impacted the SuperValu network of shops, one of the largest multiples in the State.

Mr Jennings said: “There was an eight-hour outage of one of the largest payment service providers, Opayo, formerly Elavon and SagePay.

“The disruption in supermarkets and convenience and forecourts was truly extensive.”

Mr Jennings said that in-store ATMs continued to function with payment cards that did not work on check-outs. This meant some could withdraw cash to pay for their purchases.

Others, who do not have debit or credit cards, tried to pay at check-outs using payment systems on their phones and smart watches.

But they could not get the phones to work, and phones and watches cannot access cash from ATMs.

Retailers lost sales and credit had to be given to other customers, with the hope now that they will pay up, Mr Jennings said.

“I’ve asked the Central Bank to assure me that they are seeking a report and to confirm they are aware the Opayo system went down at the same time throughout the UK.”

He said it was the third outage in four weeks.

Opayo, which has around 50,000 customers in Ireland and is owned by Elavon, confirmed it “encountered an issue” which has impacted the processing of transactions.

It is a payments processing service. Most retailers in this State are signed up to it for electronic payments processing.

The company said the issue has now been resolved, and it apologised for what happened.

“We can confirm the issue is now resolved and normal service is restored. We continue to monitor the service closely.

“Thank you for your patience during this service interruption to your business, for which we again apologise.”

The Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) said it was investigating whether there was an issue as a number of card machines are down across the country.

A spokesperson for BPFI said “members are investigating whether there is an issue and the impact of same”.